Google I/O

“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.” – Ivern Ball

A handful of R/GA attendees were the lucky ones who got a place to sit at the filled-to-capactity Android sessions; we were also thrilled to be part of the keynote audience while athletes descended in wingsuits overhead. However, in my opinion, so far, the most inspiring part of Google I/O this year were two sessions  entitled “Building Data Pipelines at Google Scale” and “Not just a Map.”

The headline is this: With a reasonable amount of effort, developers are able to extract a large percent of the sum of human knowledge, transform it according to any paradigm, then load & map the results, in hours — practically for free. While it’s true, I/O has great demonstrations of how these tools are being used to track deforestation, address crisis response and meet other global challenges, these initiatives seem to be just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

Gazing over the sea of smart developers at the after-party, a colleague and I wondered, who will be the first to really put this astonishing power to use?